Independent SAGE member warns of 'dangerous situation' over lack of tests

16 September 2020, 08:14

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"We're in an incredibly dangerous situation right now" because we can't test the people who need to be tested, a professor has told LBC.

Professor Pagel told LBC that the country was in an "incredibly dangerous situation" because "we can't test the people who need testing it means we can't see where cases are rising."

This then has the knock-on effect that NHS Test and Trace is unable to "chase their contacts, so we can't control the virus that way."

Professor Christina Pagel who is a professor of Clinical Operational Research and a member of the Independent Sage Group was speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari.

The Professor told Nick Ferrari that "until they fix the testing system, it's got a free reign to spread."

The comments come ahead of Boris Johnson facing a grilling from senior MPs amid a warning that the "failure" of the test and trace system is placing "huge pressure" on the health service.

An LBC investigation on Monday showed that in England's top ten Covid hotspots there were no coronavirus tests available.

As the system struggles to cope with soaring demand, people have been turning up to accident and emergency to ask for Covid-19 tests.

When Nick asked the Independent Sage Group member why she thought the system wasn't working, the answer was planning.

"Because they didn't plan it well enough," she said adding it "wasn't a secret that schools go back in September and colds come in."

Accepting that rolling out a nationwide testing system was difficult, Profesor Pagel said there were countries that have managed it, which meant their second spikes of Covid-19 have been reduced.

When Nick highlighted the lack of testing facilities and kits in March and advice from Public Health England to stop testing.

Watch the whole video at the top of the page to see the interesting and informed exhange.